England skipper Andrew Strauss Saturday put a confident India on notice by asserting that the hosts would be under pressure in their World Cup clash on Sunday.
“In some ways, there is more pressure on India than on us in this game, as they are playing in front of home crowd whose expectations are always high,” Strauss said on the eve of the Group B clash at the Chinnaswamy stadium in the heart of the city, facing the famous Cubbon Park.
Coming into the second league match after winning a hard game against minnows the Netherlands at Nagpur Tuesday, the English team has been sweating it out at the nets for a tough encounter with favourites India who beat Bangladesh Feb 19 in the opening match.
“We intend to play some smart cricket and put India under pressure by going for early breakthroughs. Of course, it depends on toss and who bats first,” Strauss said before joining his team at the nets for another grueling practice session on a cloudy afternoon.
Admitting that playing against India on its home turf where conditions were so different from those back home would be a challenge, the captain said his team was coming into the World Cup after playing a lot of good cricket in big games over the last 24 months or so.
“Unlike Tests, One-day matches are high pressure games and every team has to give its best to win whether batting or bowling first. Though it’s a huge game for us, we would love to spoil the Indian party in Bangalore,” Strauss asserted.
Noting that an uncertain weather could make a difference as the game progressed, Strauss said his team was bracing up for any eventuality though the team batting second would have an advantage in case a sudden downpour under the Duckworth Louis method.
“As we didn’t have a good look at the pitch condition yet, we will take a call on the team’s selection after inspecting it and the outfield with our coach (Duncan Fletcher) Sunday morning,” the skipper observed.
Asked if England had any specific plan to contain the Indian dashing opener Virender Sehwag and the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Yusuf Pathan, Strauss said it was important to dismiss the hosts top order as early to restrict them to a gettable target.
“Definitely we would be looking for early wickets at the top. The likes of Virender Sehwag can score quickly if they stay. If we can get some early breakthroughs than we can put pressure on the Indian batsmen,” Strauss added.